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Basil Meatballs

Basil Meatballs
Yield:   16-20 meatball appetizers
Cook Time:   About 10 minutes per batch.
Tips:   Meatballs may be made with a combination of ground beef and ground pork or ground turkey, or with 100% ground beef or ground turkey.
Suggestion:  If serving as party food, these meatballs are best served with Marinara Sauce for dipping (or serve the meatballs already immersed into the sauce), or simmered with pasta sauce over spaghetti or fettuccine noodles as a main course.
Though meatball recipes can vary in flavor and can be made with a large variety of sauces, they traditionally have a few things in common. Most meatballs are made with some basic ingredients, usually including ground meat (such as ground beef, ground pork, ground turkey or ground chicken) and a combination of herbs and seasonings. Egg and bread, bread crumbs or cracker crumbs and sometimes a liquid, such as milk or cream are added to help hold the meat together while giving it a more tender texture. The variation in meatball flavor is of course dependent on all of
these things - the type of meat used, the types of seasonings used, and what type of meatball sauce is used, if any.

This easy meatball recipe features cocktail meatballs made with a combination of lean ground beef and ground pork, some Holland Rusk Toast crumbs (Baked Crostini crumbs or Crouton crumbs can also be used) and some water and whipping cream, which is soaked with the toasted bread crumbs before adding to the meat. As for the seasonings, a simple combination of basil, cayenne pepper, garlic powder and some salt and pepper are added to the mix. Note: Fresh basil leaves will certainly give these meatballs that fresh and distinct basil flavor, though if you don't have any fresh basil handy, dried basil can also be used.

To serve Basil Meatballs as party appetizers, simply form the meat mixture into small bite-size meatballs, and serve some Marinara on the side for dipping (or immerse the meatballs into the Marinara and serve in a warming or chaffing dish to keep them warm, if desired). If you'd like to make these meatballs as a main course with noodles and pasta sauce, you can form them into slightly larger meatballs, if desired (though keep in mind they will take slightly longer to cook through).


  • 1/4 cup whipping cream
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 1/4 cup fine Holland Rusk Toast crumbs, Crouton crumbs or Baked Crostini Crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil or 2 teaspoons fresh basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder or granules
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 lb. ground lean pork
  • 2 tablespoons grated onion
  • butter
Combine cream and water in a small mixing bowl, then add the crumbs. Mix until the crumbs are moistened. Combine the basil, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, salt, beef, pork and onion in a larger mixing bowl and mix thoroughly with hands (Note: Disposable gloves can be used if you'd prefer to keep your hands clean.) Add the crumb mixture to the meat mixture and mix again until well blended. Shape into 1-inch balls, then sauteé in a small amount of butter in a large skillet until browned on all sides. (Tip: Shake the skillet occasionally to help the meatballs retain a round shape. Serve alone or with Marinara Sauce, if desired. May be served in a warming or chaffing dish, if desired.

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